The Rose & Crown Hotel, Guildford

I have ate at the Rose & Crown in Guildford more times than I can remember. At one stage it came to a point where I would only order the pork belly, I was obsessed! It wasn’t until recently after yet another excellent meal there that I realised I hadn’t blogged about it.

To start with I love this hotel. Built in 1814 it is full of history.  Today you have the cosy bar with a wood fire burning and gorgeous oak barrel furniture, the fine dining living rooms (perfect date night material) “Posh Convict Restaurant” and “1841 Restaurant”, the underground cellar/bar area (be careful of the ghosts) and the trendy outside beer garden.

I have ate from both the bar menu and the fine dining menu. And naturally I have given the drinks menu a good going over. The weekend breakfast menu is not bad however I wasn’t completely wowed.

The bar and beer garden menu are your pretty standard breads & dips and tapas style small eats which are perfect to snack on over a few drinks. Every time I go to the R&C to either the bar or restaurant I always get the “local bread freshly baked, evoo, balsamic glaze and hazelnut dukkah” for $11. The bread is always so fresh and the dukkah is so scrumptious that the plate is completely clean within minutes!

I also really enjoy the pizza they do Friday-Sunday evenings – a small amount of toppings yet the flavours of those few ingredients work so well together that your taste buds are completely aroused. The Devil Woman pizza is a favourite! Plus the jugs of Pimms and Mojito go down a treat!

The only thing I wish they had more of were wines by the glass, I feel I’m on my 10th round of trying them all and particularly when I eat in the fine dining restaurant I do like to try and match my glass of wine with the different courses.

Typically I’ll order a sparkling wine while I mull over the menu and nibble on starters then I’ll end up going for fish, Mr. Spittoon for steak and then we’ll want something sweet with dessert so for us we tend to always order by the glass than by the bottle (and yes we live in walking distance hence why we tend to have a mini-degustation every visit!).

The fine dining menu is small and concise; it is a one pager with just enough to keep everyone happy and makes the decision easy enough that you don’t spend hours trying to decide. Plus there are always the daily specials as well (keep an eye on these as I have had some amazing dishes from this menu).

Like I said earlier I am a HUGE fan of the “pork belly twice cooked, potato galette, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, apple relish, pedro ximenez glaze” – it is just melt in your mouth goodness. The steaks are also a favourite, always cooked to perfection upon your preferred request and the steak chips are AWESOME.

I have tried the lamb ragu and salmon off the standard menu, which are also very tasty. Click here to view the full menu.

Last but not least is the dessert menu. Wait one second while I mop up my drool….

It is totally and undoubtedly divine. From the taste to the presentation to the dessert wines on offer. I cannot go to the R&C now without getting dessert, no matter how full I am. It would be sacrilege if I didn’t indulge. And 9 times out of 10 I just have to wash it down with either a nip of Talijancich 1961 solero or Noble One or the John Kosovich autumn harvest – yum!

I do find a night out at the R&C rather pricey. Obviously if you’re eating from the bar menu it is not so hard on the wallet but if you’re going for the full deal at the restaurant be prepared to spend a couple of hundred for two. Recently we took my parents there on their visit to WA and for 4 of us we would have spent $500-600 including a couple of pre-dinner drinks in the underground cellar.

Rose & Crown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato The price tag may be high, but I always know that I won’t be disappointed at the end of it. I have to admit when we first started going there we use to play ‘spot the smile’ on the customer service team however over the past 6 months the team have brightened up and not only come with a smile but they’ll help with wine suggestions for dishes and give explanations on what some of those weird foodie terms mean without making you feel like an idiot for asking.

For more information please visit the Rose & Crown website.

New menu at Jezebelle in Guildford, Perth

Yesterday Jezebelle announced their new Spring tapas menu, and it couldn’t have worked in better with my feeling for not wanting to cook on a Friday night.

As usual the place was bustling on a Friday night, it’s a popular venue for cocktails alongside their menu of shared plates. As we hadn’t made a booking, we ended up sitting at a high bar table down the back of the restaurant. Note to self: make a reservation next time!

Once we were seated we proceeded to look over the new menu (which I had thoroughly stalked hours before online, check it out here) and of course the wine list. It’s funny when we go out for dinner, the wine list is always given to Mr. Spittoon and they always go straight to him for the order. He then looks blankly at them and I jump in. Obviously, I hide my wino appearance well!

The wine choice was pretty easy, it’s a compact menu and since I was after something to celebrate #GrenacheDay I narrowed it down easily. We ended up going for a bottle of GranRojo ‘Rojo’ 2010 Garnacha from the Valeapenas, Spain for $39. The sommelier came over to pour it and gave us some insights on the wine which was absolutely lovely. Read my tasting note here.

Now for the food ordering. As per usual we over ordered, but hey YOLO! You only live once!

Here is what we went for:

  • Rye, tomatillos, house made fresh cheese $6
  • Marinated olives; gordal, sicilian, lingurian, wild red $6
  • Bravas, smoky tomato, crème fraîche $10
  • Pork belly, peanut & chilli, fennel, orange $24
  • Beef short ribs, chilli & bean stew, tortilla, sour cream $28

I really love how they have definitions down the bottom of the menu to explain what things like bravas and tomatillos were (see the menu here), as we both had no idea! All up the food was lovely.

The rye dish was tasty and awesome value for money. The wild red olives, to die for! The bravas, spanish potato chips with paprika seasoning, where sooo good with the sauces however our only critique here would be to have the chips a bit crispier. The pork belly…. well… the BEST crackling either of us have ever had. And the short ribs were cooked to perfection with plenty of beans and tortilla wraps to eat it with.

You would think we stopped there, we should of stopped there. But I couldn’t help myself though and we ordered the Spanish donuts for desert – buñuelos, choux pastry puffs, chocolate, vanilla custard for $14 alongside a glass of the lovely Talijancich 1961 Solero Muscat for $19 (we had this recently at Stewart’s and loved it, read my tasting note here) and a glass of Sanchez Romate Moscatel ‘Ambrosia’ for $16. Read my tasting note here.
Jezebelle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
The donuts and wine choices weren’t the best matches. However, each in their own right were truly divine. I was dreaming about those donuts in my sleep last night I swear!! An awesome way to end a lovely evening of eating, drinking and chatting. I think we’ll definitely be back soon!

Check out my other posts on Jezebelle below or click here to visit Jezebelle’s website.

Alfred’s Kitchen – Roadside burgers in Guildford, Perth

Alfreds Burger Guildford Cram

It’s just a pity they don’t serve up wine…

It’s safe to say Alfred’s Kitchen is famous in Perth. Having been serving up burgers at their roadside hamburger bar since 1946, you can’t miss the bright neon Alfred’s sign and blazing log fire out the front. Alfred’s sits in the heart of Guildford, a mere 5-minute walk from the train station. The perfect way to finish a day in the gorgeous Swan Valley. Continue reading

Vietnamese Restaurant in Guildford, Perth – Hoang Kim

1 bottle of wine, 2 entrees, 3 mains and 1 dessert between 2 people…

4 weeks and 5 days Hoang Kim, the new Vietnamese Cafe Restaurant in Guildford has been open according to the lovely manager on duty (I just love that she had to give me the figure down to the day!).

It’s always hard to give a new restaurant a go when there is very little on the web about it and what I could find was a mixed handful of reviews. However being in such a convenient spot and being so close to one of my fave wine shops I couldn’t say no to a night out at Hoang Kim.

Only 20mins from Perth Central Train Station along the Midland line (I think that’s a mere $3 with a smart rider card or around $4 without) you will land in beautiful historic Guildford. Directly opposite the station you will find Hoang Kim and if you’re keen on some good wine with your Vietnamese then I suggest you make your way across 500 meters from the train station across Stirling Square to Chateau Guildford.

Chateau Guildford is part of the Cellarbrations franchise yet this particular store has an awesome range of Swan Valley wines (a lot of which go superbly with Vietnamese cuisine conveniently enough) and a great selection of alternative grape varieties. It’s a small shop that I could spend hours in. So I suggest heading there first to pick up a lovely bottle of Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Gewurtztraminer or Riesling to go with your meal – all great wines to match with Vietnamese food (great suggestions from fellow wine lovers on Twitter; @Randall1921, @Davenew80 and @Mitchellwinery).

Hoang Kim is a small restaurant, perhaps about a dozen tables and on this particular Thursday night they were all full. So I suggest booking ahead, or popping in before you go buy the wine! It is back to basics with this restaurant, the walls are relatively bare and everything is simple. This didn’t bother me at the slightest as I was hoping this meant that all their time and energy was going into their food which is the important part anyway And I was right!

My spittoon (that’s the boyfriend, for new readers out there) and I had the loveliest meal, the service was fantastic and for a place with very little character on the eye it had a bucketful of ambiance once that food rolled out. Plus corkage is a dollar per person, which is a tick in my book. AU$70 for 2 people for dinner and boy did we indulge, needless to say we had plenty to get wrapped up into a doggie bag to take home for lunch the next day, bonus!

So what did we eat with our delicious bottle of Moondah Brook 2008 Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley (big thanks to @Randall1921 on Twitter for the recommendation)??

Entree:

Rice Paper Roll with Grilled Mince Pork (2 suitably large rolls) $6.80

Fried Wontons (8 pieces, so fresh and tasty, they were a fave!) $8.00

Main:

Caramelised Pork Belly (with egg!) $16.90

Chili Beef and Vegetable (fave!!) $14.90

Combination Fried Noodle with chicken and prawns $15.90

Dessert:

Banana Sago & Coconut Cream (I am pretty sure this was tapioca with banana and then the coconut cream tasted like delicious custard. Loved it!) $4.50

Hoang Kim Vietnamese Cafe Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Once emerging from the restaurant, and now with my ‘2 glasses of wine eyes’ on I did see the Hoang Kim character coming through, the little lit up lanterns, the stone water fountain and even the tacky LED ‘open’ sign in the window screamed out Asia to me. When you think about restaurants inAsia, they definitely aren’t classed as swanky or flash – they are known for their good food and atmosphere. I have a feeling Hoang Kim Vietnamese is going to be a bit of a rival to their Thai cousins up the road – the King & I Thai..

Check out my BYO restaurant in and around Perth post for more BYO options in a suburb near you!

Weekend Breakfast at Jezebelle – Guildford, Perth, Western Australia

Can I have Champagne with breakfast?

I love breakfast. It’s a meal, which is totally acceptable to be either sweet or savoury. And breakfast is the perfect excuse to sip on wine at such am early hour of the day. Whoever came up with the idea of a Champagne breakfast is a total legend in my books!

So when I heard about Jezebelle‘s breakfast philosophy, I just had to check it out. A Q&A (found at the back on the menu) revealed the following:

Q: Can I have Champagne with breakfast?

A: Absolutely, it’s 12 o’clock somewhere isn’t it?

Simply put, you say “Champagne”, I say “where?”

Jezebelle is located in Guildford on James Street (opposite the well known Alfred’s burger bar), an easy walk from Guildford train station. As you walk in, you have a small bar to the right, the front counter with coffee making facilities and then to your left and stretching to the back of the building is the main dining area.

I have to admit I’m not fussed on the interior. Dim the lights and I’m sure it would feel a bit like a brothel in Eastern Europe. Not that I know what ones of those is like! It’s like they are going for a funked up vintage decor with the animal print (pornstar) covered uncomfortable chairs and stringy curtains to improvise makeshift walls. Since they are a breakfast-lunch-dinner establishment I presume from the decor that they are targeting themselves more so at the nighttime dinner crowd. However I don’t see why as having now dined twice from their lunch/dinner tapas menu and now also their breakfast menu I think breakfast is definitely their forte.

On the breakfast drinks menu they have all your normal coffees and juices but also some ‘Breakfast Bubbles’ & ‘Bubbles with Orange’ options. I opted for an AU$18 glass of H.Lanvin & Fils NV (non-vintage) Champagne, yes I know, my boyfriend is the luckiest man having a girl with expensive drinking taste! Read my full tasting note here.

To match my 9am Champas I decided to go for the Jean-Pierre Sancho rye, grilled mushrooms, scrambled eggs & ricotta for a decent price of AU$14. My beverage was pricier than my meal – talk about priorities! My food was excellent, the scrambled eggs were divine, not being a huge fan of my eggs this way, I am definitely now a convert! They were buttery yet still eggy and they just melted in the mouth. My only critique of the meal would be that the mushrooms were seriously lacking flavour. They were large and voluptous but tasted like a sponge more than anything.
Jezebelle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Overall I had an awesome breakfast at Jezebelle, it was a fantastic way to start my weekend. I can’t wait to go back again so I can try the buckwheat pancakes with bacon & maple syrup (AU$14), or the hot smoked salmon cake, poached eggs, wild rocket & avocado (AU$16) or the ultimate Jezebelle brekky: two free range eggs, bacon, tomato salsa, hot smoked salmon potato cake, mushrooms, chipolatas & toasted sourdough (AU$24)… Dammit it, I admit it, I want to try the whole lot!

Check out the Jezebelle Breakfast menu here (please note some items may differ slightly from the in store menu) and if you have any questions feel free to ask them on the Jezebelle Facebook page or website.

Happy Champagne breakfast all!